OK let’s play a more obscure game: Let’s Write A Robyn Hitchcock Song!
Angels Priests Hoods & Masks Birds The Byrds A jangly, circular guitar riff that sounds like bells A reverse pedal Vegetables Spiders/Spider’s Eggs Insects Eyes Plants that become people, people that become plants Cockney rhyming slang Lizards Obelisks A Mandrake root writhing under a full moon in a sensual way Disease/Decay Prawns Trains Death People named Bruce or Kevin
Paradise Lost The Circus/Freaks/Etc. Blues music “All Things Move Towards Their End” The Supernatural The Bible A Gun Greek poetry A small, but surprisingly sharp, knife End of Days The American West/Pioneers/Lawless lands People who were born evil Messed Up Preachers Being Attracted To Women Who Are Married To Someone Else Whom You Then Kill Lots of Murders, misunderstood criminals The Devil Being suspected or discovered to be a murderer Alcohol Jesus Floods Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood Sociopathic Narrators Women and children grieving for lost husbands and fathers Dark-haired ladies Whores A mandolin loop A big big gong Subset: what kind of beautiful dark-haired woman do you want in here?
A. Sad B. Vengeful C. Murderous D. Angelic E. With a heart-shaped face and a west country accent
Names of Small Towns The Pride of the Outsider Motorcycles Trains Childhood Memories Broken Things Drugs A Moment Where You Escaped The Boot On Your Neck And Experienced Real Freedom In A Way Rich Kids Never Will Wrestling Magic the Gathering/D&D Dysfunctional Family Relationships We Never Dealt With Driving Wolves Dogged Optimism Even Though You Know It’ll All Fall Apart Glamorized Alcoholism A-minor Chord Names of Ancient Gods Regionally Specific Trees Lo-Fi Recording Descriptions of How A Girl’s Hair Looks In The Sunset Nostalgia for Things That Went Badly Names of Interstates Not just acoustic guitar- Acoustic AF guitar
This August, The Cure threw an end-of-Summer celebration at the Rose Bowl grounds called the Pasadena Daydream Festival. Irony! Who hates Summer more than Goths? Nobody.
I love the Cure, I love the Pixies, and I have never EVER seen Throwing Muses and was absolutely GAGGING to. Since the ticket was expensive, I steeled myself to going alone, but my friend Johnny Skourtis posted a self-pitying story on Instagram the morning of the show asking if he should go see the Cure alone, so I had a festival buddy!
The Day Of:
It was hot as shit. 30,000 goths were sweating and drinking. They sold out of Donut Friend brand vegan band-named donuts. But: everything else was great. Throwing Muses, also known as Some Dudes and Kristin Hersh, were tight and AGGRESSIVE and wonderful. Pixies and their rotating Kim Deal impersonator were good, and The Cure have only gotten better at being the Cure. You want pedals? Layered guitar? Drone? You got it, babe. The band has gotten famous 40 years into their career, and Robert is wearing it well, and seems much happier than he was when he was 30.
Meeting New Friends:
I was wearing an ancient Cure t-shirt that my sister has been begging me to throw out, and instead of throwing it out, I had repaired it with lace scraps, and a twenty something came to compliment me on it. He claimed that he was “the world’s biggest Cure fan” and that he had seen his first show in 2009. I told him I had seen my first show in 1986 at the Bronco Bowl, for Head on the Door, and he protested, I wasn’t even BORN then. That can’t be my problem, man!
Here’s the Cure’s playlist, including Just One Kiss, which was never played in the US before, but which I really like.
Pictures of You
A Night Like This
Just One Kiss(first time live in the US)
In Between Days
Just Like Heaven
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
Play for Today
Shake Dog Shake
39 (Altered lyric from “half my )
Friday I’m in Love (with “Where Is My Mind”… )
Close to Me
Why Can’t I Be You?
Boys Don’t Cry
The Morning After:
The morning after, I was complaining to Johnny that although we had been drinking all day, it was so spaced out that I was never really drunk, but that I had a hangover, and then he sent me a video of myself singing to the Pixies that he believed disproved my theory. Anyway, it was nice having a friend for one day. Thanks, Pasadena Daydream Festival!
Growing up in Texas but *with* MTV, I quickly identified myself as a New Waver and found the lifeline for all aspirational cool kids at the time, Star Hits magazine. It was heavily influenced by its UK parent, Smash Hits, and was chock full of awesome photographs of the most important people in my life, including Duran Duran and the Cure. They called Morrissey Mozz and Madonna Madge and they had advertisements for punk clothes and rare records and everything I dreamed of.
I always wanted to be interviewed by Star Hits, and realized that if I was going to be interviewed in that style, I would need to do it myself. So, here it is.
I meet Virginia Jones in a coffeeshop near her Silverlake abode. The coffeeshop also sells perfumes that are named for alternative rock hits but cost one gazillion dollars. She is sitting on the patio, dressed head to toe in black, and drinking a Dirty Ginger, a soy milk latte with spicy ginger syrup in it. She smiles slyly and says it’s her fourth. I greet her, take off my suit jacket, brush the shaggy blond hair out of my eyes, and set up to record our chat. She says she’s sorry but she only has half an hour before she has to go do comedy in the basement of a wine shop.
Who was your first crush?
Ohhh, this is weird but it was definitely Boy George.
Yeah, I just thought he was spectacular. I still do. When I was a twelve year old, I had a poster of Culture Club on my wall that I would kiss every night before bed. When I took it down, George’s lips were clear with greasy little-kid Chapstick kisses.
What was the first record you ever bought?
The first single was Celebration by Kool and the Gang. This was about ten years after it came out, but I heard it in one of my mom’s Jazzercise classes and I had to have it.
And the first LP?
Chipmunk Punk, obviously.
Which had no punk songs, but some new wave songs and some Billy Joel. The weirdest inclusion was My Sharona, which was written about a 15 year old girl and has some semi-explicit reference to thighs, but the chipmunks DGAF.
What is your most treasured possession?
When I was living in Portland, I did a show on Christmas Day at the same karaoke bar where I did my first open mic. This is probably ten years ago. It went, as I remember, horribly, but my friend Bri Pruett, who was KJing there at the time, gave me a card that permitted me to go next to sing karaoke. That potential, the idea that I could be next, even in a bar that will one day close in a town in which I do not live, makes it one of my most prized possessions. Also, that Bri gave it to me. I’ll never cash it in. I’m perpetually next!
Do you get presents from your fans?
Yes, isn’t it weird that people give you images of yourself? But I have some awesome fan art, including a Barbie doll of me, an embroidery of my album cover, and a pen and ink rendition of me and my many interests. They are displayed proudly in my home. When I was in Portland, I used to be given a lot of weed, which I saved in a tin and forgot in my apartment when I moved.
How often do you wash your hair?
I like to wait at LEAST three days between washes. If I can stretch to four, even better. My hair is long, so every time I wash it it gets tangled and dry and is basically a hot mess. If you ever see me wearing a hat, you know it’s day four! Sorry.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
I mean, I love the idea of a three toed sloth, but that’s not really my lifestyle. I’m more like a squirrel, out there hustlin’, always starting projects and forgetting about them, and of course, looking adorable.
Ok, the last question, and this is a deep one: Where do all the lost pens in the world go?
You know, I’m glad you asked me that, because it’s something I have thought a lot about. The size and shape of pens mean that they take up space on the horizontal, but also they can slip through any hole or crevice, and we live on this earth full of holes, and which is always rotating, so if you think of the world as a big Pachinko game, and pens as the ball bearings, pens wind up:
(Flabbergasted) In the center of the earth?
Yes, precisely. And that’s what magma is made of. Melted pens. That’s what makes it so dangerous.
I effused my thanks to her as she killed her last inch of coffee and took off, yelling thanks and that she looked forward to the interview. I had to take a second to catch my breath, and, folding up her paper coffee cup into my pocket to take with me, (don’t judge me!) went home to write.
You like singing, right? Sure you do! We all like singin’!
Are you singing at your full potential?
Meet Emma. Emma is a badass Swedish black metal singer with formal jazz vocal training. She can teach you to sing any style. She’ll help you figure out where your range is, and how to improve it. I’ve been working with her for a year and have increased my range by a whoooooole octave, and solved a lot of my problems! Not all of them! Just the ones about singing!
My friend Simon Max Hill is a hard-working casting agent who has been casting Portlandia, Nike spots, and other important television from his seat in Portland,OR. He’s also an enthusiast of dancing, robots, and being a super weird generator of ideas at all times. On Tuesday, he announced that it was my responsibility to make a sock puppet music video, and by Thursday I had it up.
Here’s Dark Footish covering the Smiths. And to the nice lady who said “Oh, this is great, I hope there’s more!”- it currently has 22 views. I am the gothic Naomi Campbell of Youtube, I don’t get out of my coffin for fewer than 100 views.